Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Healthcare workers await their next patient at the welcoming triage portion of the mobile COVID-19 testing clinic at Pima Junior High. Three individuals were tested for the virus on the clinic’s first day on Monday.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The first day of the Graham County Health Department’s mobile COVID-19 testing clinic at Pima Junior High saw 37 families, however, only three individuals met the criteria and were ultimately tested for the potentially deadly virus. Test results should be available in a few days.
According to Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas, three individuals showed possible symptoms of COVID-19 and were therefore tested. However, Pima Superintendent Sean Rickert believed the number of those tested will increase Tuesday as more doctors are referring Pima children with symptoms to the clinic.
Those who weren’t tested were given information about COVID-19 and were encouraged to return if they develop respiratory symptoms.
The mobile clinic was set up after an elementary staff member who works with fifth and sixth graders had a positive test last week after being exposed herself during an out-of-state visit the previous weekend. The school district was closed Thursday, March 12, and the clinic was scheduled to be open to patients Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Healthcare workers ask those visiting the clinic to stay in your vehicle to limit exposure and they will direct you from there. If warranted, after an outside triage, the patient will enter the Pima Junior High for more examination and possible testing.
“We are reaching out to people who may have come into contact with the infected individual,” Douglas said. “If you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill, you should monitor your health for fever, cough, and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day of contact. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.”
The Graham County Department of Health Services will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant. For more information about COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/covid19.
General things that everyone should do to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses
- ● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- ● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- ● Stay home when you are sick.
- ● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- ● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular EPA registered household cleaning spray or wipes.
- ● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
What you need to know about COVID-19
- ● COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
- ● Most people (about 80%) develop only mild symptoms, particularly children.
- ● Like influenza, those most likely to develop a severe disease are people older than 60 years and those with other medical conditions like heart or lung disease.
- ● The virus is spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- ● People who are most at risk of becoming infected are those who have prolonged, close contact with a person who is infected with COVID-19 and is symptomatic.
- ● There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
- ● Find up to date information at azhealth.gov/COVID-19 and at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.